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Intending to replace a poor quality 100mm Bushnell Maksutov. Would like something compact, good for observing planets and some further objects. I am veering towards the 6SE although it is somewhat over my budget. Would like a goto mount and the possibility longer term to try some photos.  Any views from 6SE owners? I am to all intents and purposes a beginner.

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I had a 6se I bought second hand a few years ago for £300 with mount and accessories. Clearly bargain of the century looking at prices now!

Last year, I sold it as I got a HEQ5 and ED80 refractor. They are far better suited to deep sky astrophotography and I'm very pleased with them, although I regret selling the 6se.

Main reason is the ability to shoot planetary easily with the 6SE, although the benefits of the plethora of DSO targets offsets that. I can still shoot the moon and planets in a limited way. I prefer my refractor but I'm sure plenty would argue towards SCTs. The ED80 is certainly more forgiving for beginners.

The 6SE will be great for solar system objects and some basic DSO work, the limitations are the mount being alt az rather than equatorial, and the longer focal length. You will be limited on what you can do in terms of DSOs.

Just be aware, astro work increases the cost by several orders of magnitude - I would consider my set up with all the additions, cameras etc. intermediate. That's easily cost me £4k and I'm ignoring the laptop I was gifted which I use to control it, plus my PC, plus Photoshop... etc. etc.

Sorry for the rambling post, just my thoughts having owned one.

If you're on a budget and want to mainly observe with some basic photography, a dobsonian is probably your best bet in terms of value for money.

Edited by Messy Hair 101
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Thank you for you reply. Initially at least I think photography is not my goal. Using my current telescope Saturn is a very small blurred image. 

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The planets will be quite small when viewed through any telescope as the atmosphere will limit the magnifications you can use. Observing at too high a magnification will blur the image, as will not giving the telescope sufficient time to cool before observing at high power or viewing the planets when they are low in the sky, as has been the case for Jupiter and Saturn this year. A 6" SCT should be an improvement over a 4" Mak, but you also have to make sure that you are doing the things required to give your telescope the chance to deliver good views. 

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  • 1 month later...

I bought a 6SE a couple of months ago off Amazon as a Black Friday offer.  It was my first scope, as I will soon be going into retirement and I wanted something to keep my mind alive, and astronomy has always niggled away at me.

Overall, although my experience and frame of reference is very narrow, I have been very pleased with the purchase.  I have spent many hours of study, and despite a few teething problems in setting the scope up to work with Wifi and under the control of a Laptop, I seem to finally be there.  Unfortunately, having faced endless issues both with the Mac, and the Wifi adapter, neither of which resulted in a successful outcome, I have now replaced the Mac with a dedicated MS Laptop and use a cable to connect to the mount.   I have also now settled on using Stellarium as my preferred Astro program having experienced endless problems trying to get SN to work.

I have added to my small portfolio of equipment, a Celestron PowerBank, a mains power adapter, a zoom eyepiece, and a 2x Barlow.

If I wanted to be at all picky.   I have found the problems encountered at times difficult to resolve due to the often quite complex nature of some of the solutions be offered by clearly 'best intentioned'... but somewhat geeky.. :) people who are much further along this journey than me.  Although I'm not a complete Luddite, and can work my way through a number of tech issues, I really did start to become quite frustrated at times in the first month when one problem just seemed to lead to another.  That all said, I feel like I am there now and please don't get me wrong as I am in no way finding fault with the many people who have provided invaluable assistance, without whom the 6SE may have turned up on eBay... joking of course... a little.

I wish you well.

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I bought a Celestron 6SE a year ago. Initially, I was slightly underwhelmed by it - very nice optics (it arrived in perfect collimation), no focus shift but for the life of me I couldn't get the go-to working and red dot finder was really flimsy.

It turned out the problem with go-to was me using internal AA batteries. So the first upgrade was a 12V power supply lead and the second was a finder shoe that allowed me to use a finder scope.

I've used it mostly for lunar and planetary but also brighter DSOs as my suburban skies are not great for the fainter objects. The go-to is invaluable for finding objects that are difficult to locate star-hopping.

I have an German equatorial mount and used the 6SE OTA on it to get the image of M42 I use in my avatar. I haven't done much long exposure photography, the weather has been so bad here.

I have a larger 8 inch SCT but the 6SE gets its fair share of use - lightweight but packs a real punch.

Edited by Peter_D
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